Reading Jonathan Edwards is not easy. He is a difficult person to read and even more difficult to understand. If you have an interest in reading Edwards, I am hoping I can help. I have started what I call “The Jonathan Edwards Project,” which is a series of books that slowly increase in level. The first level is two volumes, the first of which is a forthcoming edition of the spiritual writings of Edwards, and the second is a new edition of Jonathan Edwards own Charity and Its Fruits, and I conclude that volume with a list of his works in the order I think they should be read. Here is the list of books in the project thus far and a brief note about them:

 

101 – [A] Jonathan Edwards: Selected Writings Classics of Western Spirituality ed. Ken Minkema, Adriaan Neele, Kyle Strobel (Paulist Press, forthcoming). Paulist Press has the most substantial line of spiritual classics ever assembled. You can see the range of the line here. I have recently signed a contract, with my co-editors, to develop a volume of Edwards’s spiritual writings in this series. This will be the first time someone has assembled key primary sources of Edwards’s that outline his vision for Christian spirituality. Furthermore, rather than focusing on already well-known material, we are hoping that about half of the volume will be previous unpublished, out of print, or simply lesser known parts of Edwards’s corpus. This is going to be an exciting one!

101 – [B] Charity and Its Fruits: Living in the Light of God’s Love ed. Kyle Strobel (Crossway, 2012). This introduction to Edwards’s work is a new edition of his exposition of 1 Corinthians 13. I provide an introduction, conclusion, definitions of arcane terminology and include over 170 textboxes throughout the book that explain difficult concepts. If you want to start reading Edwards, start here (click here to go to the publisher page).

 

201 Formed for the Glory of God: Learning from the Spiritual Practices of Jonathan Edwards (IVP, 2013). This book introduces readers to Edwards through his understanding of spiritual formation. If you want to know how Edwards understood the Christian life, then this is the book for you. It is accessible, written for laity and pastors alike, and attempts to show how Edwards’s view of the Christian life can be lived even today. If you want to know what “America’s Greatest Theologian” says about the spiritual life, then look no further. Click here to watch a short video about the book.

301 To Be Announced.

401 The Ecumenical Edwards: Jonathan Edwards and the Theologians (Ashgate Publishing, forthcoming). Who gets to decide if a theologian is great? It is a difficult question. In my mind, the church, as a whole, must decide something like that. For too long Edwards scholars have claimed Edwards’s greatness, but that isn’t something we can claim in isolation. So, to remedy that, I have put together a top-notch team of Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestants of all stripes to write about Edwards in relation to the tradition. If Edwards is truly great, we should come to see his greatness shine forth through this volume. 

501 Jonathan Edwards’s Theology: A Reinterpretation (T&T Clark, 2013). This book is an academic work on Edwards’s theology. If you really want to dive into Edwards, this book is for you. That said, this is a serious work of theology. Only read it if you have an interest in academic theology and Edwards’s own theological constructions. The focus of this volume is to unearth the theological core to Edwards’s thought. My goal in this book is to give a framework for how to read Edwards well, which, in my mind, is learning to read him theologically.

 

I will continue to add volumes to this list as they appear, both my own written work as well as edited volumes on Edwards. My hope is that I can help those interested in Edwards read him well, which is what these books should do – help you read Edwards.

I have also contributed to a volume on Edwards’s somewhat provocative view of justification by faith. Or is it provocative? That is the question several of us set out to answer. If you are interested in Edwards or in the doctrine of justification, this book will prove to be beneficial on both counts. It is Jonathan Edwards and Justification, ed. Josh Moody (Crossway Publishing, 2012). My chapter is entitled: “By Word and Spirit: Jonathan Edwards on Justification, Redemption, and Regeneration.”

If you find yourself interested in what I am doing with Edwards, or just interested in Edwards’s theology, you can also see my chapter, “Jonathan Edwards’ Reformed Doctrine of the Beatific Vision,” in Jonathan Edwards and Scotland (Dunedin Academic Press, 2011), 171-180; and my article, “Jonathan Edwards and the Polemics of Theosis” in Harvard Theological Review 105:3 (July 2012): 259-279.

Share

Category: First Category

5 Responses to The Jonathan Edwards Project

  1. JT Caldwell says:

    Kyle,

    Great and worthy project! If I may ask, what is the basic thesis of your forthcoming “Reinterpretation” of JE’s Theology?

    Currently working on a ThM thesis in JE, and have regularly come across various interpretations.

    Thanks,
    JT Caldwell

    • Kyle Strobel says:

      JT,

      Every Edwards scholar wants to argue, in some way, that JE’s theology is governed by his trinitarian thought. The two key questions then are: What is Edwards’s trinitarian thought, and how does that inform his theological decision making. I argue that interpreters have failed to truly understand Edwards’s doctrine of the trinity, and because of that, there has been a failure to recognize how it governs his theology.

      I argue for a top down reading of JE’s thought, such that you start with his doctrine of God, then move to look at his End for Which God Created the World and put that in parallel with his understanding of Heaven – and ultimately the beatific vision. These three categories, Trinity, Creation, and Heaven make up my heuristic key. You start with God, the fountain from which all else flows, and then you move to creation and its teleological orientation to God. I then apply this interpretive reading to spiritual knowledge, regeneration, and religious affection.

      If you want to see how my model works itself out (at least a small segment of it) take a look at the new book coming out at the end of this month on Jonathan Edwards and Justification by Faith. I try to argue there that Edwards’s specific emphasis on the persons of the triune God orients his soteriology, and if you miss that, you end up missing his point.

      I hope that helps.

      Blessings, kyle

  2. JT Caldwell says:

    Thanks, Kyle. Very helpful. I look forward to checking out your contribution to the dialogue.

    Any idea when next year both “201″ and “501″ will be available for purchase?

    jtc

    • Kyle Strobel says:

      JT,

      The Formed for the Glory of God book will come out in Spring 2013, and the 501 book comes out December 2012 (so this Dec). Both are completed, I just have to do the index for the T&T Clark book (which will be brutal). I have 3 other volumes in the works, but only one is accepted. I’ll put something on this list in the near future, it should be a fascinating volume (it is an edited volume).

  3. JT Caldwell says:

    Great! Thanks, Kyle, for putting this list together.

    jtc

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

 
Formed for the Glory of God:Learning from the Spiritual Practices of Jonathan Edwards
Wisdom tells us to sit at the feet of our elders rather than the latest ministry fad. And is there a better elder to guide us than Jonathan Edwards?
Reading the Christian Spiritual Classics:A Guide for Evangelicals
Many have come to discover the wealth of spiritual insight available in the Desert Fathers and other traditions. The essays in this volume provide a guide for evangelicals to read the Christian spiritual classics.